Camera nonsense and walks

Guys the above camera you see is my pride and joy. It is a Nikon D80 that I bought in 2008 and has since been outstripped by the Nikon D90. I’m not saying it’s the best DSLR on God’s Green Earth but it’s mine and it has a lot of features and I love it. I haven’t been using it much a) because I have nowhere to go and therefore nothing to take pictures of and b) because I am just obsessed with taking pictures with phone apps. I like the instant creativity of it.

When I bought this camera, I didn’t know anyone who owned a DSLR and therefore had to do a lot of research on my own to find out what was best. I wanted something entry-level with maybe a few extra bells and whistles to grow into. I was going for either the Canon Rebel XTi or XSi. I was also looking at Nikon D40 and D60. I also looked at Sony and a few other brands that aren’t considered “professional DSLRs” because I figured if it takes a nice shot, then who cares? Also I think that Sony bought Minolta’s camera blueprints out.

I decided to go buy the camera on Labor Day Weekend hoping I’d get a good deal on a sale (stupid). I knew that Labor Day sales were sort of scam-ish but I was just so damn excited to buy it that I ended up getting upsold out the wazoo. When I went to the store, I had already narrowed the cameras down to either Canon or Nikon because of the lenses. Both of these companies have been around forever and will likely BE around forever. And they are top notch at lens production. And at least for Nikon (but I’m sure it’s true for Canon), lenses made for SLRs thirty years ago will fit on and work with a Nikon DSLR or any Nikon Camera. I had read that the lens or “glass” is more imortant than the camera itself but didn’t take heed. Now I know that that’s true. I’ve had the chance to shoot on other people’s DSLRs and it doesn’t matter much what the the body of the camera is (unless it is a professional and then the sensor is larger and closer to the true size of a 35mm negative which makes a sharper picture). The difference between an entry level camera and a prosumer is just a bunch of unneccessary features. Some of them are time savers. Some of them are stupid like in-camera retouching. I didn’t know that at the time. And megapixels ARE kind of stupid because although mine has ten I NEVER EVER use that. I doubt I go above 4mps when I shoot because otherwise the file for the picture is ENOURMOUS. And its not like I’m making poster-sized shots. But anyway, I decided to go with Canon or Nikon because the odds of starting a good collection of used and new lenses was better and I figured it best to start with a camera that had a lot of options open to it. (Not like you can’t put a Nikon lens on a Sony body, I’m sure they make a ring to make them fit together. I just didn’t know that then. Now I do!)

Anyway, the D80 is/was considered “prosumer” meaning that it has a few more features than the consumer/entry level and not as many features as a professional camera. I had looked into the D80 and yearned for it but automatically ruled it out because it was a few hundy out of my range. The salesgirl was clearly drunk from the night before but a fast talker and a HELLUVA salesgirl. Before I knew it I was walking out of that store with more stuff than I EVER intended to buy. I had tons of buyers’ remorse too but the store wasn’t as “nice” when I was considering returning as they were when I had my credit card out to purchase. I just decided to stick with it.

I took photography in high school and used a 35mm SLR. I don’t remember what brand it was but it had a standard 50mm prime lens. My parents bought me my own as a present either for graduating high school or starting college. I still have it and I love it. The problem is that a DSLR works very differently than an SLR. I know (now) how to use this camera but I’m no pro. Last spring I started taking shots with my SLR again and it made me more adept at using the DSLR because it forced me to actually THINK about the aperture, shutter speed, film speed (aka ISO on the DSLR), etc. It forced me to think about available light, depth of field and composition because every negative counts. With a DSLR you can just shoot, shoot, shoot away mindlessly and on auto and it doesn’t matter. If all you have are 24 or 36 shots to capture an event or a trip, you have to be more judicious.

SO anyway, in keeping up with my “stylish” challenge, I need to start going for walks. And if you know me, you know that I have to always be doing at least two things at once. So my challenge for walking will include taking my DSLR out with me and just shooting anything. What I REALLY need to “focus” on (har har) is getting my pictures tack sharp. I am nearsighted so I don’t ever feel like my pictures are sharp enough. I have a feature on my camera (diopter?) that you can adjust to suit your vision so that you can take pictures based on what you can see. Neat right? Well it doesn’t really work for me haha.

So I have posted a gallery below of some of the things I saw around Silver Lake today. The pictures aren’t touched up at all (and you can tell haha). I definitely blew some pictures out and could have used a slower shutter speed/wider aperture in some of them. But I was just experimenting with sharpness, depth of field, white balance, shutter speed, aperture and composition. All of them were taken in ISO 200.

Also if you’re wondering why I haven’t already sold this camera to get money, here are the reasons why (not that I have to explain myself, I just want to):
1) It is my pride and joy. I do NOT want to sell it if I don’t have to.
2) It’s outmoded by the D90 which means I won’t get what it’s worth.
3) If and when we have to move, selling this is one of the things that will get us home. Insurance.
4) I have decided to sell it before and Kristyn forbids it because she knows what it means to me.
5) I tried to sell it at Samy’s camera a few months ago to at least trade down to the D3000 which has the same megapixels and very similar features for half the price but the guy at the store was really opposed to me doing that. I guess because they stopped making the D80, he felt like I was kind of throwing away a camera that might be worth something later? IDK, I got spooked and decided against it. Maybe he’d only be able to buy it from me for what the D3000 is worth and that camera has less functionality than mine does. *shrug*

At any rate, here is proof that I left my house today, haha:

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